Beginner question

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Beginner question

Post by kiltro » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:06 pm

Hello everyone I'm new to the forum!
I'm starting practicing jhana meditation following the book Mindfullness, bliss and beyond by Ajhan Brahm and Focused and Fearless by Shaila Catherine and have some beginner's question.

I've noticed some kind of mental activity (it's not a sentence/thought) like something that keep track of what I have to do or not do during meditation. This keep the meditation not very relaxing and seems to be the source of tenison in my forehead.

So I've tried to let go of anything like actually doing nothing or going autopilot, but If I'm silently watching the present moment (like in the second fase of Ajhan Brahm book) or watching the breath after a while the meditation lose track of the object.. (reading the chapter on the guardian I've got this idea of letting go, setting the object of meditation at the beginning of the meditation, than do nothing...)

Sorry for anything unintelligible but english is not my first lenguage and I actually find it difficult to put those things in words :smile:

Any suggestions would be gratly appreciated

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Re: Beginner question

Post by LonesomeYogurt » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:17 pm

This is a common occurrence - a great solution is to use a mantra, or simple repeated statement, when you breath in and out. When you mentally repeat "Bu" on the in breath and "dho" on the out breath, you give your mind a little something to do and that quiets it down. Another one is "Knowing" on the in breath and "Letting Go" on the out breath. Don't say them out loud of course; just calmly and quietly repeat them in your mind. Counting also works. Anything to give the mind something to do until it is calm enough to stop buzzing about.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

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Re: Beginner question

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:18 pm

Welcome kiltro,

Have you listened to any of Ajahn Brahm's guided meditations? If you are trying to follow the instructions in his book, I think you'll find them very helpful. He's excellent at such instruction. ... -hour.html" onclick=";return false; ... -hour.html" onclick=";return false;


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Re: Beginner question

Post by kiltro » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:19 am

Great I'll try the mantra suggestion and also the guided meditations (there are a lot of files on that page!)
There is no sangha near the place where I live and have no possibility to move at present, so it's great to have found a place to ask questions and exchange opinions

Thank you

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Re: Beginner question

Post by Samma » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:33 am

I've noticed some kind of mental activity (it's not a sentence/thought) like something that keep track of what I have to do or not do during meditation.
"the Pali term (anupassana = anu [follow] + passana[seeing]) is commonly used for two types of meditative practice: keeping watch over a particular topic in the midst of other experiences, and looking for a particular quality in experiences as they arise." (Thanissaro translates this as remaining focused)

I suspect you are are being too strenuous in your focus, and this is causing the tension.
Of course, this quick diagnosis could be inaccurate.

Brahm and Shaila Catherine both make use of nimitta, so I might also recommend another popular book that uses nimitta, Mindfulness in Plain English. Similarly to how others recommended a mantra, this starts with counting the breath." onclick=";return false;

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